St. Marks Lighthouse

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

St. Marks was a prominent Spanish town of the early 1800's. A lighthouse was first built here in 1831, and then moved and rebuilt in 1840 when erosion threatened. During the Civil War the tower sustained tremendous damage, with a full one third of its base blasted away. The tower did not collapse, was reconstructed and relit in 1867. The lens in the 73 foot tower was originally a fourth-order, is now a fifth-order.

St. Marks had a woman keeper from 1904 to 1919. Sarah Fine finished her husband's partially-completed log entry for June 18, 1904, without any explanation for what happened to him! Judging from the signs I saw in the wetlands surrounding the lighthouse, an alligator may have gotten him!

The grounds are freely accessible within the National Wildlife Refuge, but the tower is only opened during special occasions. St. Marks is a very picturesque location, and the refuge had stunning beauty and bird-watching opportunities galore. 904-925-6121 for info.